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Theft-proofing QR seatpost and saddle
#1
I am almost done restoring a cherry 1987 Miyata Trail Runner to be a short haul urban errand runner, brief stops at the store/pharmacy. But I worry about the quick release seat post clamp and the Brooks Gel Lite saddle as being easy marks for a thief. I can lock down the rest of the bike using u-locks, but the rest baffles me in terms of effectiveness, cost and usability. And I don't want to ugly the bike. I've thought about a bike chain inside rubber tubing, wrapping and padlocked somehow, but it's not clear to me that would work.

Any engineers, etc., out there?

Yes, I know there is no perfect theft deterrent.
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#2
You can use an old piece of bicycle chain, like this:

http://www.bikemandan.com/blog/how-to-make-a-free-saddle-lock

It goes through the saddle rails and around one of the seat stays. You then leave it permanently on the bike.

Also, replace the quick release saddle skewer with a bolt.

You can also replace your wheel quick release skewers with something like this:

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Models.aspx?ModelID=6282

In addition, you can use some cables in conjunction with a U-lock. You pass the cable through the wheel or saddle and then the shackle of the U-lock passes through the loops as well as the frame and whatever you're locking the bike to:

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Models.aspx?ModelID=9630

All these things help, but best of all is to use them all in conjunction with an old bike that isn't worth much, you can keep it in good running order, but leave it scruffy and dirty so that it has limited theif appeal.
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#3
Replace the QR with an inside hex bolt (Allen or INBUS bolt) melt some wax and fill the head with it, then press a (loosely fitting) bearing ball in it. This also works on stems, head sets, etc. It can be removed but takes some time to do so. It is quite unobtrusive, doesn't mess up the clear lines of the bike.
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#4
(08-21-2012, 07:14 PM)Joe_W Wrote:  Replace the QR with an inside hex bolt (Allen or INBUS bolt) melt some wax and fill the head with it, then press a (loosely fitting) bearing ball in it. This also works on stems, head sets, etc. It can be removed but takes some time to do so. It is quite unobtrusive, doesn't mess up the clear lines of the bike.

Thanks! I am aware of the strategies you describe, but I really want to keep the QR seat post bolt on the bike (even though I've dialed-in the height) rather than a more secure passive bolt. There's gotta be way to lock down a QR seat post (and saddle) that will please fussy me! AAARGH!
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#5
realistically, it sounds like you just need to take it with you. you can lock how ever you want but a pocket knife and an idiot can ruin it anyway. They do not care and most people look the other way. 30 seconds with a 3 roller blade pipe cutter and its mine any way, add some cable cutters that slice like cheese see ya later.
the point is this if they want it they got it! I think you worry a little much. I suggest you insure the bike and ride worry free. Some thieves will damage one part of the bike to get what they want, it does not matter to them.
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#6
(08-22-2012, 01:42 AM)painkiller Wrote:  Some thieves will damage one part of the bike to get what they want, it does not matter to them.

Indeed. A frame is (comparatively) easy to trace. Components are not. I was told that many frames end up being destroyed and dumped and the components would be sold.

The fact is: any determined thief will get whatever it wants. The best way to avoid the bike or parts being stolen is to take the bike with you. Next best way is make it more of a hassle to get your stuff than the bike next to it. It also helps if your stuff looks as if it wouldn't be worth the effort. If you stick with the QR but lock up the saddle, some drunk a$$hole will steal the QR. Count on it. There's QR skewers with a removable lever, might be an idea. Why do you want to keep the QR anyway? There's two uses for QR skewers: Bikes that need to be transported often and MTBs where it is nice to ride with a higher saddle to the trail, then lower the saddle on the trail so that it is out of the way, then rise it again for the way home.

On inn-sewer-ants: They... suck. For a good bike you pay a premium (if they insure it at all), and most do not cover component theft. So I don't have insurance for my bikes. My road bike is usually locked anyway (in my flat or in my office), the other bikes are... older and look beaten up and I have a pair of good locks plus locked axle skewers on the wheels.
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#7
Well I learned a new idea for the seat, using the chain and inner tube idea! As such I do have to agree having more then one bike is a good idea! If you bike to work then have one that is not of alot of value and looks like a cheapo. Your Sunday riding bike (comparable to a Corvette in a garage) keep well safe! As said above there is no 100% way of keeping a thief from taking your ride if they are determined. I am very lucky that people in my neighborhood keep an eye out for hooligans as I do the same for them. Mostly seniors that come to me and asked to look at their bike which they only ride once in a while. In return they will call the police, who are pretty fast on response, and yell out to someone to alert and discourage the could be thief. As far as any other place can only wish that others would be the same way.
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#8
The bike chain in an inner tube technique works better than changing/modifying the bolt that holds the post because even with a secure bolt, the seat can easily be unscrewed from the seat post. The chain connects the seat directly to the frame. Definitely not 100% secure. But it will defeat the casual thief who just grabs the seat as they walk by.
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#9
Ye it all sucks. I had a bike a nice Trek 830 stolen in a shopping center. They cut a 3/8" cable lock. Since then I do not leave my bike out of sight.
Chaining your seat down will work, however as PK pointed out and as my experience shows it can be cut.....Than there are the QR wheels.
Never Give Up!!!
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#10
I'm thinking it all has to do with securing the bolt head connecting saddle to the seatpost in a theft-proof or theft-minimizing way and some kind of chain scheme to lock all that to the frame. Lock one, lock the other? What do you think?
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#11
Have you been reading the posts? Everyone suggested chaining the seat to the frame, and changing QR to nut, which you do not want to do. Its not space science, just chain everything down or do not leave your bike in in unsafe place.
Never Give Up!!!
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#12
(08-27-2012, 06:41 PM)GeorgeET Wrote:  Have you been reading the posts? Everyone suggested chaining the seat to the frame, and changing QR to nut, which you do not want to do. Its not space science, just chain everything down or do not leave your bike in in unsafe place.

There is no reason to be demeaning, belittling or abusive, GeorgeET other than your trip (you have far more posts than I). Unfortunately, your diatribe gets in the way of any informed discussion of bike security in the real world with real bikes, real people.
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#13
Got nothing to do with how many posts anyone has. Its about if the info is good. We got people posting just to get their numbers up. Means nothing quality does.

You got some very good qualified answers, there is only so much one can say about this. Consider them. Your post repeated what has been already been said .

You can put a U-Bolt around your QR but that's ugly. No one is being demeaning.
Never Give Up!!!
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#14
(08-27-2012, 08:25 PM)GeorgeET Wrote:  No one is being demeaning.

You are. You are snide, snarky, belittling, and hellbent on being superior in this little world. Why are you showing off your dysfunctional upbringing?

And for some reason of yours you are unable to grasp that human behavior is iterative and that there is a wider audience here than the unfortunate two of us. I did not repost the original question. I iterated. Adios.
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#15
Tim welcome to the tutor, WE ARE ALL STAND UP PEOPLE HERE!
Do not go away mad, in fact do not go away at all, your life of cycling will truly be enriched by this little well kept secret site. I ask you do not let a bad day or misinterpreted advice steal your joy. We are all looking forward to what you finally come up with as a resolution to your question and hope you share with us. We all learn from each other and not one person of the tutor family would purposely hurt or offend one another and infact most of wish we could meet each other some day in person. move on be happy and forget about it, this is coolest and most friendly bicycle site out there and it must have been fate that brought you here,I know it was for me!
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#16
The OP was not just restating his original question. He was talking about changing out the bolt in the clamp that holds the seat rather than the bolt that holds the post. He was rambling a bit, throwing out "I wonder" when the issue had been pretty thoroughly discussed, and probably should have just read the replies more carefully. But GeorgeET's response is dismissive and belittling (don't think I'd call it abusive).

When I don't have anything constructive to add, I try to refrain from posting. Some people putting up questions are genuinely confused, some are just dopey. Such is life.
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#17
Sometimes when we get people just flaying around and not focusing getting them to focus makes for better results and information exchange..Lots of excellent information was given and posters effort ignored.

Everyone on this lists wants to help but we need information presented in cohesive manner.
Never Give Up!!!
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#18
Hey Tim,
I have a bergamont helix 5.2 in India...same problem with me too..finally I changed over from quick release seat post over to one with an allen bolted post. now I am good.. no more idiots around my bike. Usually we don't need to adjust seat post that frequently, so you can get rid of quick release if you want.
[size=large][font=Impact]Cyclostyle in style[/font][/size]
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#19
Something that will make it inconvenient for the "bike seat and post" thief...
Try fastening (using duct tape, masking tape) the thread end of a small spool of synthetic thread to the inside of your seat post (assuming that it is hollow). Sewing maching bobbins work well, too.

Drop the small spool of thread into the seat post hold; and leave the spool inside the frame of the bicycle; (assuming that the spool doesn't fall all the way through the frame to the ground.)

Install the seat and "string attached post" back into the frame.

When the thief comes along and lifts and pulls the seat away from the frame and holding onto the seat, they will be forced to unravel the spool of thread placed inside the bike frame; hence creating a trail of unmanageable string trailing behind the thief.
(Sort of like the "string of handkerchiefs" trick that cheap magicians use when pulling multiple handkerchiefs out of ones pocket.)

Plastic thread makes it harder for the thief to break with their hands, and becomes unwieldy when trying to gather the thread into a ball when the thief tries to quickly abscond with your property.

This is not a deterrent. Obviously, a knife will make this plot irrelevant. But it is a small barb thrown back at the thief.
Just an idea...
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#20
WELL YOU DON'T WANT TO REPLACE OR MODIFY THE FASTENER THAT RETAINS THE SEAT POST.
So, that leaves the seat post QR vulnerable, period.
The entire seat assembly can be chained or cable locked to the frame, but even compact bolt cutters (which a skilled thief WILL have) will make short work of that. There again, it eliminates some temptation and will stop the impulse driven thief from a simple snatch.
I think you will find heat shrink tubing to be a really good look for a chain cover instead of rubber tubing. It shrinks in diameter, while retaining length. That should give you a good look. It is typically available in black, but some red can be found.
Next, the seat itself, without the post, can be removed with a tool (that just about every bike thief will have) in 15-20 seconds.
You can get secure fasteners that require a specific, uncommon tool to address this, I've used them on high end vehicle accessories.
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